Dorota Senger

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The european view on legality of links

Dorota Senger

Link – i.e. a reference to another file or website is a convenient navigation tool and plays a vital role in websites’ SEO. However, embedding a link can be a risky business if it leads to a file or a website containing copyrighted work. Recently highest European courts were to decide whether the linking itself breaches the copyrights to the work to be find under the link by exposing it to the audience (legal term: dissemination) or not. Due to the scale of linking the judgment can be of interest of many IT professionals.

Most recent judgment in the case of Svensson and others against Retriever Sverige AB of the Court of Justice of European Union dated February 13th, 2014 (C-466/12) answers a couple of questions: whether embedding a link to copyrighted work by someone else than a copyright holder is actually an act of making the work available for the audience (dissemination)? Furthermore does it depends on the access restriction (e.g. a fee for the access) to the website where the work was originally posted?

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